I’ll Be Home for Christmas: Family Traditions for Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Every year, I get excited about the holidays as most do. Being an out of state student in a state like Florida that does not get every season always makes it seem like the Christmas season starts when I arrive home to Tennessee. Coming home to my house lit up with white lights, seeing all six of our Christmas trees up laden with ornaments and feeling that chill in the air that calls for the warmth of the fireplace makes that special feeling of Christmas resonate within me. The following Christmas traditions are some that my family and I have been holding on to for years that always make my holiday season that much merrier.

Courtesy: Annie Spratt

Have a Christmas Party

Each Christmas season, I throw a holiday party at my house for all of my friends at home. This current year will be the seventh one that we have had. Even though my friends and I all go to different schools in nine states, we work to make sure everyone’s schedules line up so that we can catch up and still remain close. Everyone brings a different food item for a potluck and a secret Santa gift. My favorite part about having this every year is setting out Christmas cards for each person so everyone can say something nice about each other. I love looking at my card after cleaning up the house and seeing how much love is still there in all my high school friendships.

Wear Christmas Pajamas

Getting Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve is a tradition that a lot of families have, but it's one of my favorites, as well as picking out one gift for everyone to open. I love coming down on Christmas morning wearing the pajamas that my mom picked out for all of us. She never gets my sisters and I matching pajamas which I am very thankful for. Somehow she gets us each a pair that caters perfectly to our personalities.

Read “The Night Before Christmas”

I am so thankful that every year, no matter how old I get, my dad reads “The Night Before Christmas” book to my sisters and me on Christmas Eve. We all gather around in our new Christmas pajamas and he still reads it with fun voices and everything just like when I was a kid. The book we have was also my mom’s when she was a child which makes it that much sweeter.

Courtesy: Andrew Neel

White Christmas

Each year, I want to watch as many Christmas movies as I can but end up never finding the time to do it. Every Christmas Eve though, I make sure to put on my favorite Christmas movie before bed, White Christmas. If you have never seen it, the movie is full of music, spirit, friendship and romance. If that’s not enough, the movie stars Christmas legend, Bing Crosby singing the infamous song “White Christmas.”

Fondue and Christmas Cookies

If you don’t have a Christmas food tradition, fondue is definitely the move. Before dinner, my family has cheese fondue as an appetizer with bread and green apples. After dinner, we have chocolate fondue with strawberries and bananas. Fondue sets can be inexpensive and it’s great to use for any parties you have as well. Having fondue on Christmas does not mean you should forget about making Christmas cookies. Making homemade sugar cookies with those fun cookie cutter stencils is always a good time. My family usually makes multiple batches to give some to neighbors, friends and teachers.

Courtesy: freestocks

Watch a Movie on Christmas Day

After the festivities of gift-giving and eating breakfast in the morning, my family chooses a new movie to see, which usually ends up being the latest Star Wars film because we can all agree on watching that. My sisters and I like to wear our new clothes out to the theater and eat as much popcorn as we possibly can. Some movies to check out this Christmas include Jumanji: The Next Level, Little Women, Spies in Disguise and my family’s pick this year, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

I could go on and on about all the Christmas traditions my family has had over the years but the most special part about them is that I get to be with my loved ones during a season of giving and thankfulness. Christmas brings out the best in people and even if you feel like you are too old for certain traditions, it’s still fun to continue or even adopt some of them so you feel more of that Christmas magic. The holidays are for spending time with your family and we should cherish every moment of it.

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